My research focuses on two major areas:

  • understanding the role of RNA editing, in particular by ADAR1, in homeostasis and disease, and
  • generating and applying models of human cancer (myelodysplastic syndrome and osteosarcoma)

We use haemopoiesis as the primary model system to understand the role of RNA editing by ADAR1 in normal homeostasis and disease.

We are also interested in generating faithful models of human cancer. We have established several models of osteosarcoma (the most common type of bone cancer) and have also been developing models of a type of blood cancer called myeloproliferative/myelodysplastic syndrome. We use information from human cancers and familial cancer predispositions to enable us to develop these models to be as faithful as possible to the human cancer we are modelling.

Key achievements

2023-2027   National Health and Medical Research Council Investigator (L2)

2016-2019   Victorian Cancer Agency Mid-Career Research Fellowship

2016-2019   NHMRC Career Development Award Level 2 (awarded but declined)

2010-2014   Leukaemia Foundation Phillip Desbrow Senior Research Fellow

2009-2012   NHMRC Career Development Award Level 1

2006-2009   Special Fellow Award, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (USA)

Selected publications

Liddicoat BJ, Piskol R, Chalk AM, Ramaswami G, Higuchi M, Hartner JC, Li JB, Seeburg PH, Walkley CR. RNA editing by ADAR1 prevents MDA5 sensing of endogenous dsRNA as non-self. Science 2015 Sep 4;349(6252):1115-20.

Heraud-Farlow JE, Chalk AM, Linder SE, Li Q, Taylor S, White JM, Pang L, Liddicoat BJ, Gupte A, Li JB, Walkley CR. Protein recoding by ADAR1-mediated RNA editing is not essential for normal development and homeostasis. Genome Biology (2017) Sep 5;18(1):166.


Smeets MF, Tan SY, Xu JJ, Anande G, Unnikrishnan A, Chalk AM, Taylor SR, Pimanda JE, Wall M, Purton LE, Walkley CR. Srsf2P95H initiates myeloid bias and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative syndrome (MDS/MPN) from hemopoietic stem cells. Blood 2018 Aug 9;132(6):608-621.

Castillo-Tandazo W, Smeets M, Murphy V, Liu R, Hodson C, Heierhorst J, Deans AJ, Walkley CR. ATP-dependent helicase activity is dispensable for the physiological functions of Recql4. PLoS Genetics 2019 Jul 5;15(7):e1008266.

Chalk AC, Taylor S, Heraud-Farlow JE, Walkley CR. The majority of A-to-I RNA editing is not required for mammalian homeostasis. Genome Biology 2019 20:268.

Xu JJ, Chalk AM, Wall M, Langdon WY, Smeets MF, Walkley CR. Srsf2P95H/+ co-operates with loss of TET2 to promote myeloid bias and initiate a chronic myelomonocytic leukemia-like disease in mice.

Leukemia. 2022 Oct 21. doi: 10.1038/s41375-022-01727-6